Alonso leads McLaren 1-2 in Malaysia

Fernando Alonso dominated the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, followed home by Lewis Hamilton, as McLaren's new driver line-up produced the team's first one-two finish since September 2005, and their first victory for 18 months

Alonso leads McLaren 1-2 in Malaysia

Ferrari lost this race within the first few hundred yards, as both Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were swamped by the McLarens at the first corner.

Alonso made a marginally better start than front row partner Massa and slipped down the inside at Turn 1. Hamilton replicated the move to pass Raikkonen for third, then drove around the outside of Massa at Turn 2 to give McLaren an advantage that they would not lose.

Massa made spirited efforts to pass Hamilton in the early stages. He dived down the inside at Turn 4 on the second lap but ran wide and relinquished the place again.

He made a second attempt at the same manoeuvre three laps later, only to lock up and slide onto the grass. By the time Massa had rejoined the road, he was down to fifth place, behind Nick Heidfeld's fuel-heavy BMW.

Raikkonen moved up to challenge Hamilton, but was less aggressive in his pressure and simply shadowed the McLaren.

While this battle unfolded, Alonso was free to pull away and establish a commanding lead - lapping an average of 0.7 seconds faster than Hamilton to put himself 15 seconds ahead by the first pitstops.

McLaren put Hamilton on a short middle stint - allowing the rookie to escape from Raikkonen, who was stuck behind Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault for several laps immediately after his first stop.

The tactic also allowed Hamilton to inch closer to Alonso, and by half-distance the McLarens were only seven seconds apart, with Raikkonen 20 seconds behind the leader.

But Hamilton lost pace in the final stint, allowing Raikkonen to mount a late charge and close back onto the McLaren's tail.

It was too late to make any difference to the result, however, with Hamilton remaining 0.8  seconds clear of Raikkonen as Alonso cruised home with a 17.5 second lead, moving into the world championship lead in the process.

After his early error, Massa spent the rest of the afternoon trapped behind Heidfeld, whose longer stints meant that there was no chance for Ferrari to pass during the pit stop sequences.

Nico Rosberg was on course to finish close behind this pair in sixth, only for an apparent hydraulic problem to strike with 13 laps to go.

That elevated Giancarlo Fisichella to sixth after a more positive race for Renault, as his teammate Heikki Kovalainen made up for his Melbourne errors with a consistent drive to eighth, having matched Fisichella's pace for much of the race.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli finished between the Renaults.

An aggressive first stint was the key to Alex Wurz's progress from the back of the grid to ninth, the Williams holding off Mark Webber's Red Bull in the closing laps.

Rubens Barrichello came through from last to 11th for the troubled Honda team, just ahead of teammate Jenson Button and Super Aguri's Takuma Sato. Ralf Schumacher never recovered from a first lap delay and finished 15th.

Robert Kubica and David Coulthard were the other notable drivers to hit trouble, with the BMW suffering badly from traction control problems and tumbling down the order, and Coulthard retiring after his brake pedal started fouling his car's steering column, rendering the Red Bull undriveable.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 56 laps; 310.408km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Alonso McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1h32:14.930 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 17.557 3. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 18.339 4. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 33.777 5. Massa Ferrari (B) + 36.705 6. Fisichella Renault (B) + 1:05.638 7. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1:10.132 8. Kovalainen Renault (B) + 1:12.015 9. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) + 1:29.924 10. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1:33.556 11. Barrichello Honda (B) + 1 lap 12. Button Honda (B) + 1 lap 13. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 1 lap 14. Speed Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1 lap 15. R.Schumacher Toyota (B) + 1 lap 16. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 1 lap 17. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1 lap 18. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 1 lap Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1:36.701 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 44 Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 37 Albers Spyker-Ferrari (B) 8 Sutil Spyker-Ferrari (B) 1 World Championship standings, round 2: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Alonso 18 1. McLaren-Mercedes 32 2. Raikkonen 16 2. Ferrari 23 3. Hamilton 14 3. BMW Sauber 10 4. Heidfeld 10 4. Renault 8 5. Fisichella 7 5. Toyota 3 6. Massa 7 6. Williams-Toyota 2 7. Rosberg 2 8. Trulli 2 9. R.Schumacher 1 10. Kovalainen 1 All timing unofficial 
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